'Haven't given up T20I cricket,' says Indian captain Rohit Sharma
In a major development, India's regular all-format skipper Rohit Sharma has confirmed that he has not left T20I cricket yet, news agency PTI reported on Monday. Rohit was not included in India's squad for the recently-concluded Sri Lanka T20I series. Hardik Pandya led India in the three-match series in his absence. Meanwhile, Rohit will captain India in the succeeding ODI series, starting January 10.
Why does this story matter?
- Despite the presence of Rohit, the selection committee kept Hardik at the helm for the T20I leg. Meanwhile, star batter Suryakumar Yadav was named Hardik's deputy.
- Until Rohit's recent statement regarding his T20I status, it seemed that the selectors had zeroed in on Hardik as the former's successor in white-ball cricket.
- Speculations regarding the ouster of Rohit from T20I cricket started doing rounds.
India's second-most successful T20I skipper
In a short period, Rohit has become India's second-most successful captain in T20I cricket. India have won 39 of 51 T20Is (lost 12) under him so far. He is only behind the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni (41) in terms of T20I wins as captain among Indians. Rohit's win percentage of 76.47 is the best by an Indian captain in the format.
Most T20I wins by a captain in a calendar year
Although Rohit ended 2022 without a century, he accomplished a major leadership milestone. He guided India to 21 wins in 29 T20Is this year, most by a captain in a calendar year. Rohit went past Pakistan's Babar Azam, who took the Men in Green to 20 T20I victories last year. Among Indians, MS Dhoni (15 in 2016) follows Rohit in this regard.
India aced bilateral series, struggled in tournaments
It is worth noting that India played nine bilateral T20I series last year and emerged winners eight times (one drawn). Rohit was at the helm in six of these series. Although India firmly dominated bilateral cricket, they struggled in multi-team events. They couldn't reach the finals of the Asia Cup, while England knocked them out in the semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup.
Rohit has missed quite a few matches of late
According to Wisden, Rohit has played only 34 (53%) of India's matches (64) since taking over as India's all-format skipper last year (Total Tests: 5, Rohit played two, total ODIs: 18, Rohit played five, total T20Is: 41, Rohit played 27).